Holiday Shopping Guide: Experiences Corner

Concert Tickets versus Theater Tickets

Concert Tickets

There is a type of concert for anyone.

Choosing concert tickets for someone shows that you know a thing or two about their tastes and taking the extra time to secure tickets is part of the gift.

It’s safe to stick to concerts they’ll enjoy, but don’t be afraid to try something new like a lesser known artist in a genre that you know that they like, or concerts at smaller venues.

In general, you have to know at least the basics of someone’s tastes, and decide whether a fun, upbeat concert might be type of event they’d enjoy most.

Theater Tickets

For intellectual or theatrical friends, bypass concert tickets and go for a theater performance.

Musicals, orchestras and operas can be welcome departures from typical concerts for music enthusiasts. Many of these are nearby, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

There are several venues for timeless Shakespeare performances, such as the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

You can often view Broadway shows, musicals and professional touring attractions at the National Theatre.

If you want to give a unique experience, theater offers the most options.

Tickets to a sports game

From sports fanatics to those who have never been to a game, anyone can appreciate a pair of game tickets. Whether they want to cheer on their favorite teams or simply enjoy a new experience, anyone can enjoy a spirited game. And, if you buy them a ticket and purchase one for yourself, chances are they won’t mind the company.

Prices vary by event, D.C. sports:
DC United: Season starts February 2012
Redskins: Season in progress, last home game Dec. 24
Capitals: Season in progress, ends April 2012
Wizards: NBA season information not yet available

Streaming video membership

Why give friends just one movie, when you can give them the gift of hundreds? Depending on their tastes, there are several options for streaming movies and TV shows to DVD rentals via mail. Let them enjoy the gift that keeps on giving (at least for the length of the membership you buy).

Netflix: 30-day online trial, $7.99 per month, additional $7.99 per month for DVD rentals by mail.
Amazon Prime: One month free trial, includes other benefits from Amazon, $79 per year.

Day or weekend trip

Who wouldn’t like a day or two away from the studying grind? Pick a destination and plan your own day trip – take your friend or a special someone with you as your gift to them. Plan your own transportation, meals and outings or scour the web for pre-planned packages.

Zipcar: Occasional driving plan – $60 annual fee, $25 application fee, hourly rates from $7.75, daily rates Monday through Thursday $73, Friday through Sunday $82
LivingSocial Adventures and Escapes for day activities around D.C. and short nearby vacations
Groupon Getaways for short nearby vacation

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